Apex Legends’ new season launches tomorrow, alongside the game’s arrival on Steam. I’ll admit this hellscape of a year has given me little time for Titanfall developer Respawn’s battle royale, but the upcoming season’s changes could entice me back in — at least until I fall off the game’s new map too many times, which I undoubtedly will.
For starters, Season 7 will introduce a new map, called Olympus. It’s a floating city, and from the gameplay trailer its colour scheme has a kind of Mirror’s Edge vibe. Respawn writes in the patch notes that there will be a week-long Olympus limited-time mode, in which 30 players can get to know the map. For the first two weeks of the season, Olympus will be the only playable map; afterward, there’ll be a rotation between it and World’s Edge, with Kings Canyon being vaulted “for the time being.”
Olympus will also feature Tridents, drivable vehicles that can fit your whole squad. Respawn notes that “damage applied from enemy fire will be dispersed amongst the players in the car,” which is a change from vehicles in games like Fortnite, where the vehicle takes damage instead of players. You can run other players over in the Trident, and Respawn also writes that “the Trident interacts with Legend abilities in many different ways.” Apex Legends is a high-mobility game, and adding vehicles seems like it will amp up its pace and speed in interesting new ways.
There’s also a new Legend, a scientist named Horizon with a Scottish accent that is not as good as past Kotaku contributor Mark Serrels’. Her passive gives her greater movement control while falling and reduces “fall impact”; while there’s no fall damage in Apex, you still get stunned if you fall from too high, which Horizon’s passive cancels out. Her tactical, called Gravity Lift, hoists players into the air, while her ultimate creates a black hole that sucks them in. A mobility-focused character sounds like a lot of fun, and her ultimate gives me some Zarya from Overwatch vibes (another game I tragically have not played in forever).
There are a bunch of more granular changes too. Respawn notes that your Origin progress will carry over on Steam, which is good news for those of us whose desktops are covered in too many game launchers. Respawn is also adding clubs to the game, which will have different privacy settings and roles that limit what members can do. Challenges are getting an overhaul: They’re based on stars now, rather than points. You’ll get between one and five stars, depending on the difficulty of the challenge, and each new level of the battle pass will cost 10 stars. There’s a revamped end-of-match screen to show you your progress as well.
You can also expect quality-of-life changes. Respawn writes that “When replacing an attachment with one from the ground, if the old attachment is an improvement for your other weapon, the old attachment will get automatically transferred,” which will save time you might’ve spent swapping things around in your menus. Airdrops are getting different colours, and some tweaks to the circle will “reduce the amount of unplayable space.” The circle will also do less damage after the first ring. Additionally, Evo armour will require more damage to level up, which should mean fewer players have high-level armour in the end game.
Several Legends have gotten tweaks: The damage of Caustic’s gas trap has been increased, but the gas will no longer blur your sight when you fight in it. Mirage’s decoys have health, but Respawn notes they “will not work as a shield.” Pathfinder’s hitbox has been tweaked to make him a bit easier to hit, and changes to his grappling hook will try to address what Respawn sees as his high win rate. Other Legends have also gotten more minor changes, alongside various weapons tweaks; check out the patch notes for all the details.
A new map and vehicle sound like a lot of fun, and there are tons of game changes from last season I haven’t had the chance to experience, like Evo armour and crafting. I’m excited to check out Season 7 tomorrow, and I look forward to Apex Legends making me forget that other games have fall damage all over again.